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Phytotron and Greenhouse

Research Area: 
Physical Sciences
Engineering & Technology

FEDER building (1st floor)& CD3 building
Faculty of Science and Technology.
Sarriena s/n. 48940 Leioa-Bizkaia.


Dr. Azucena González García
Email: azucena.gonzalez@ehu.es
Phone (office): 94 601 3536

Available for external users?: 
Access protocol: 

For access to the Service and Greenhouse Phytotron you must meet the requirements of the Protocol SGIker to access and use of the services available.


The main aim of the "Plant matter cultivation under controlled conditions: phytotron and greenhouse" Service, which is attached to the Advanced Research Facilities (SGIker) at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), is to lend support to research and other scientific purposes, including university teaching.

The aims of the Service are to supply plants on a small scale for research, scientific and teaching purposes, and also to maintain and disseminate native species. Objectives of the Service are also experimenting with soil and the analytical determination of anions, cations and sugars by ion chromatography. The service also provides advice on scientific and technical matters related to plant crops and ion chromatography to the university community and other public or private organizations requesting their services. Within the Service there are two different sections: Section and Greenhouse culture chambers and ion chromatography Section.

Section Greenhouse and culture chambers
The activities carried out in "Phytotrons and Greenhouse" are related to Plant Biology in general, with maintenance of crops from a wide variety of plant species and fungi being carried out (extendable to cultivation of seaweed and soil incubation), under normal growth conditions and with different types of substrate (hydroponics, soils, cultivation in substratum, etc.) and under a wide range of growth and incubation conditions. Different environmental parameters are also controlled, both atmospheric (temperature, light, humidity, etc.) and pedological (soil humidity, salinity, etc.), together with nutritional conditions. Phytotrons enable conditions to be simulated such as climatic extremes of chilling, high temperatures, photoinhibition, drought and climate change, etc.

Ion chromatography Section
In the service is supplied cation analytical determinations (ammonium, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium), inorganic anions (nitrate, nitrite, chloride, phosphate, sulfate), organic acids (citrate, malate, glutarate, succinate, malonate , tartrate, maleate, a-ketoglutarate, fumarate, oxalate, 3-phosphoglycerate, isocitrate, phosphoenolpyruvate) and sugars (glucose, galactose, arabinose, fructose and xylose) in water and plant samples. For other determinations consult with the Technical Service.


Section Greenhouse and culture chambers
The Service will provide and administer the purchase of all perishable materials (substrata, containers, mineral elements and phytosanitary types of treatment, etc.) in order to establish crops and their maintenance, in addition to the equipment for their handling and harvesting.
Management and maintenance of installations and of environmental growing conditions.
Sowing of plant species and establishment of crops destined for experimentation or other scientific purposes, in addition to the maintenance of crops, irrigation, the application of experimental types of treatment, and harvesting of plant matter.
Issuing of a final descriptive report on growing conditions.
Analytical determination of cations, inorganic anions and organic acids is offered via ion chromatography both of samples cultivated at UPV/EHU installations and of external samples in all types of plant tissue. Consult other determinations.
Photodocumentation service.
Ion Chromatography Section
They offer quantitative analysis of cations, inorganic anions, organic acids and simple sugars in water and various vegetable matrices in a detection range of ppm.
Services available:
Anions in vegetable and water samples: phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, chloride.
Organic acids in plant samples: malate, malonate, tartrate, citrate, fumarate, maleate, a-ketoglutarate, phosphoenolpyruvate, isocitrate, glutarate, succinate, oxalate, 3-phosphoglycerate.
Cations in water and plant samples: lithium, sodium, ammonium, magnesium, potassium and calcium
Simple sugars in plant samples: glucose, arabinose, fructose, galactose, xylose
Keep in mind that there is a kit for detecting unknown and only analytes described on the website are available with a method developed with patterns. If other analytes are desired , consult the service the possibility of developing a new method for them.
Advice to users
Advice to users about the most growing suitable conditions (substrata to be used, nutritional system and environental conditions, etc.), technical assistance and availability of technical personnel to ensure that the research work being undertaken is successfully completed.
Advice about the planning and experimental design involving the cultivation of plant species.
Advice about "in situ" determination of possible physiological measurements which are indicative of the nutritional state or photosynthetic capacity of the plants while the experiment is being carried out and biological cycle.
Advice about the harvesting and preservation of plant matter in accordance with the aim of the study.
The Service will periodically offer training courses to interested users.



The curtain wall-type glass greenhouse, with a surface area of 66 m2 x 4.5 m in height, is equipped with 4 mobile desks for cultivation, fog system, air conditioning, shading system via aluminium filtering screens with automated folding and unfolding mechanism and lighting. It is also equipped with a weather station comprising temperature, relative humidity and solar radiation sensors for control of environmental conditions.


Equipped with two independent phytotron chambers, each of 15.4 m2 in size x 2 m in height, set aside for the growth and cultivation of plants with accurate control of environmental conditions. The phytotron chambers offer the chance to supply high light intensity (0-1000 mol photons m-2 s-1 ), enrich the atmosphere with CO2, carry out experiments at extreme temperatures, and regulate RH and the photoperiod. The phytotrons contain an asepsy system combining induced overpressures and HEPA filters.

Ion chromatograph

The analytical determination of cations, inorganic anions and organic acids in all kinds of plant material and water is via a DIONEX DX600 ion chromatograph. The chromatograph is controlled by the program Chromeleon 6.40 version and is equipped with an anionic exchange analytical column (AS11-CH), a cation exchange analytical column (CS16), with protective and suppressor columns and a electrochemical conductivity detector (ED 50).